Country: Italy  Region: Grosseto Province  Grapes: Sangiovese, Merlot, Alicante

The Cantina Cooperativa Vignaioli del Morellino di Scansano was founded in 1972, formed by the 152 members whose vineyards spread over the hills around the village of Scansano, in an area known as Maremma Grossetana. The hillside vineyards cover a total of about 1100 acres. The average member has no more than 5 acres of vineyards. The entire family looks after the vines with the care one would usually dedicate to a personal garden, but under the guidance of the cooperative’s agronomist.

The village of Scansano is picturesque, situated on a mountain ridge in the heart of Maremma, a warm coastal area in the southernmost part of Tuscany. About 20 miles east of the Tyrrhenian sea, the soil composition varies, even within the same plot of land — including sand, silt, clay and volcanic rock.

The bottle sports a label bearing the image of a pig, an animal loved for its meat and its ability to find the highly treasured truffles that grow there. Within, you’ll find ruby red nectar with violet hues, made of 90% Sangiovese, and 5% each Merlot and Alicante, all from 7 year old vines. It offers delightful aromas of ripe red fruits, notably cherries, with hints of violets and licorice. It is ready to enjoy now (at room temperature or slightly chilled) with veal cutlets, spaghetti carbonara or polenta with mushroom ragú. Also wonderful enjoyed on its own.

Vignaioli Rosso Toscano IGT:   SANGIOVESE — When this principal variety is used in pure varietal form, it can lack fruitiness and sometimes impart a metallic finish. It needs the help of a softening agent to deliver the taste that wine drinkers seek out.

MERLOT — The merlot grape always lends good color and brings fruity lusciousness and a velvet quality to its wines. Used successfully singularly and in blends.

ALICANTE For the most part, the Alicante grape is better known by the name Grenache. Whatever it’s called, it is used to make wines that are rich, warm and alcoholic, and are often-times components of blended recipes, as in this month’s selection.


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Amy Heydt
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